AgFax Midsouth Cotton - Louisiana

by AgFax Media LLC


Spider mites continue building in parts of the Midsouth. The populations are present in drier areas and/or where acephate was applied to control thrips, which then gave mites an opening. Treatments are being made in Mississippi for this early outbreak. 

Thrips remain active, although pressure is easing in places or plants are simply growing past the point that thrips matter.

Hotter weather is pushing the crop, especially where soil moisture is available. More cotton is now squaring.

Weather conditions remain mixed. Parts of the region received rain over the last week but dry areas remain. Lack of rain and herbicide activation have continued to complicate pigweed management.


Steve Schutz, Ind. Consultant, Coushatta, Louisiana: "Our cotton ranges from just emerging to starting to square. We're mainly focusing on weed control right now. One grower planted some untreated seed, so we had to spray for thrips right off the bat. We're finding fleahoppers on squaring cotton in places and are watching the forecast for rain chances, since we don't want to make an application and then see it wash off. This is the kind of thing you can't wait too long on, but the grower in this case wants to go by ground so he can apply a herbicide for vines. It's still kind of wet, so we're on hold.

"We're okay for moisture. The fields I work in southwest Arkansas got rain last Friday and Saturday, then more rain last night (5/30)."

Ashley Peters, Peters Crop Consulting, Crowville, Louisiana: "Most of our cotton is probably at the third to fourth leaf stage, with a little at 5 leaves. I think we've sprayed thrips on every acre over the last 7 days and are following behind that to make evaluations. We've had rain, which was needed to finish bringing up the crop. In places it hadn't rained for 7 to 10 days, so this last system was pretty timely. We're hoping that with moisture and sunny days the cotton will kick into high gear and grow past any thrips pressure."

Sebe Brown, Northeast Louisiana Region Extension Entomologist: "A large portion of our state got a much-needed rain, plus we're experiencing some hot temperatures, and that's boosting cotton growth. Except for some late cotton, most fields are past the susceptibility window for thrips, so I don't anticipate any more treatments in that part of the crop. In really late cotton I understand some people are still fighting them, so thrips pressure is still here but maybe not as high as it was a couple of weeks ago.

"A few spider mites are showing up now that it's hot and we went 2 weeks without rain. We can find mite hits – areas with reddening from mites – in some cotton. Based on our plots, thrips treatments with acephate pushed mites. In one plot where we applied just a quarter-pound of acephate you didn't have to look hard for signs of mites. So, it doesn't take much to flare mites, especially when environmental conditions are right."